by George Nott

New SA child protection department seeks CIO

Oct 17, 2016

A CIO is being sought for a newly established South Australia government body tasked with protecting children in the state.

The Department for Child Protection will launch in November, in response to a damning Royal Commission sparked by the arrest of paedophile carer, Shannon McCoole.

McCoole is currently serving 35 years in jail for sexually abusing children as young as 18 months old and running a child pornography website, crimes committed during his employment as a carer by Families SA.

The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report, by Justice Margaret Nyland, made 260 recommendations, one of which was for the office of child protection and functions of Families SA be moved out of the Department for Education and Child Development into a separate department.

A job listing for CIO at the new department, which will be headed by Queensland-based child protection public servant Cathy Taylor, was posted on Friday.

“We are now accepting applications for this critically important, senior executive position that will enable effective 24/7/365 operations of the department and drive the establishment of a strong organisational culture. This newly created position represents a rare and exciting opportunity for a suitably qualified, capable, resilient and experienced professional in this newly established department,” the listing read.

Responsibilities will be to build “business analytics capability to inform strategy” and the delivery of “innovative and robust technology solutions and services to support a 24/7 operational environment”.

The successful candidate will also take responsibility for the new department’s records and information management strategy and practice – an area Justice Nyland found was lacking at Families SA.

The new CIO will report to the deputy chief executive, corporate services.

Another of Ryland’s recommendations was that the department’s new leadership would have “recognised credibility in child protection work, and who have the capacity to lead a major reform of organisational culture”.

The job listing adds that the government was seeking “someone highly innovative who thrives on challenge and who can lead the ICT directorate with a focus on delivering sustainable change”.

The deadline for applications in Friday, October 28.

Since the Royal Commission the SA government has passed legislation to establish a children and young person’s commissioner as well as amendments to improve data sharing between governments and agencies.